EDUCATING EMPLOYEES ON PROTECTING THEMSELVES AT HOME
EDUCATE
● Encourage employees to follow any new policies or procedures related to illness, cleaning and disinfecting, and work meetings and travel.

● Advise employees to:

● Stay home if they are sick, except to get medical care, and to learn what to do if they are sick.

● Inform their supervisor if they have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 and to learn what to do if someone in their home is sick.

● Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. Inform employees that if their hands are visibly dirty, they should use soap and water over hand sanitizer. Key times for employees to clean their hands include:

○ Before and after work shifts

○ Before and after work breaks

○ After blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing

○ After using the restroom

○ Before eating or preparing food

○ After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings

● Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

● Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of their elbow. Throw used tissues into no-touch trash cans and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

● Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water before disinfection.

● Avoid using other employees' phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. Clean and disinfect them before and after use.

● Practice social distancing by avoiding large gatherings and maintaining distance (at least 6 feet) from others when possible.
Maintain Healthy Business Operations
Identify a workplace coordinator who will be responsible for COVID-19 issues and their impact at the workplace.
Implement flexible sick leave and supportive policies and practices:


● Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of and understand these policies.

● Maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member or take care of children due to school and childcare closures. Additional flexibility might include giving advances on future sick leave and allowing employees to donate sick leave to each other.

● Employers that do not currently offer sick leave to some or all of their employees should consider drafting non-punitive "emergency sick leave" policies.

● Employers should not require a COVID-19 test result or a healthcare provider's note for employees who are sick to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or to return to work.

● Review human resources policies to make sure that your policies and practices are consistent with public health recommendations and with existing state and federal workplace laws.
Protect employees at higher risk for severe illness through supportive policies and practices. Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
● Support and encourage options to tele-work, if available.

● Consider offering vulnerable workers duties that minimize their contact with customers and other employees (e.g., restocking shelves rather than working as a cashier), if the worker agrees to this.

● Offer flexible options such as telework to employees. This will eliminate the need for employees living in higher transmission areas to travel to workplaces in lower transmission areas and vice versa.

● Ensure that any other businesses and employers sharing the same workspace also follow this guidance.

Communicate supportive workplace policies, frequently, and via multiple methods. Employers may need to communicate with non-English speakers in their preferred languages.
● Train workers on how implementing any new policies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 may affect existing health and safety practices.

● Communicate with any contractors or on-site visitors about changes that have been made to help control the spread of COVID-19. Ensure that they have the information and capability to comply with those policies.

● Create and test communication systems that employees can use to self-report if they are sick and that you can use to notify employees of exposures and closures.

● Consider using a hotline or another method for employees to voice concerns anonymously.
Assess your essential functions and the reliance that others and the community have on your services or products.
● Be prepared to change your business practices, if needed, to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize existing customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations).

● Identify alternate supply chains for critical goods and services. Some goods and services may be in higher demand or unavailable.

● If other companies provide your business with a contract or temporary employees, talk with them about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.

● Talk with business partners about your response efforts. Share best practices with other businesses in your communities (especially those in your supply chain), chambers of commerce, and associations to improve community response efforts.

● When resuming onsite business operations, identify and prioritize job functions for continuous operations. Minimize the number of workers present at worksites by resuming business operations in phases, balancing the need to protect workers with support for continuing operations.


Determine how you will operate if absenteeism spikes from increases in sick employees, those who stay home to care for sick family members, and those who must stay home to watch their children until childcare programs and K-12 schools resume.
● Plan to monitor and respond to absenteeism at the workplace.

● Implement plans to continue your essential business functions in case you experience higher-than-usual absenteeism.

● Prepare to institute flexible work and leave policies.

● Cross-train employees to perform essential functions so the workplace can operate even if key employees are absent.


Establish policies and practices for social distancing. Alter your workspace to help workers and customers maintain social distancing and physically separate employees from each other and from customers, when possible. Here are some strategies that businesses can use:
● Implement flexible worksites (e.g., telework).

● Implement flexible work hours (e.g., rotate or stagger shifts to limit the number of employees in the workplace at the same time).

● Increase physical space between employees at the worksite by modifying the workspace.

● Increase physical space between employees and customers (e.g., drive-through service, physical barriers such as partitions).

● Use signs, tape marks, or other visual cues such as decals or coloured tape on the floor, placed 6 feet apart, to indicate where to stand when physical barriers are not possible.

● Implement flexible meeting and travel options (e.g., postpone non-essential meetings or events by state and local regulations and guidance).

● Close or limit access to common areas where employees are likely to congregate and interact.

● Prohibit handshaking.

● Deliver services remotely (e.g., phone, video, or web).

● Adjust your business practices to reduce close contact with customers — for example, by providing drive-through service, click-and-collect online shopping, shop-by-phone, curbside pickup, and delivery options, where feasible.

● Move the electronic payment terminal/credit card reader farther away from the cashier, if possible, to increase the distance between the customer and the cashier.

● Shift primary stocking activities to off-peak or after hours, when possible, to reduce contact with customers.


If you have more than one business location, consider giving local managers the authority to take appropriate actions outlined in their COVID-19 response plans based on their local conditions.
Maintain a healthy work environment
Since COVID-19 may be spread by those with no symptoms, businesses and employers should evaluate and institute controls according to the hierarchy of controls to protect their employees and members of the general public.



Consider improving the engineering controls using the building ventilation system. This may include some or all of the following activities:

● Increase ventilation rates.

● Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and provide acceptable indoor air quality for the current occupancy level for each space.

● Increase outdoor air ventilation, using caution in highly polluted areas. With a lower occupancy level in the building, this increases the effective dilution ventilation per person.

● Disable demand-controlled ventilation (DCV).

● Further open minimum outdoor air dampers (as high as 100%) to reduce or eliminate recirculation. In mild weather, this will not affect thermal comfort or humidity. However, this may be difficult to do in cold or hot weather.

● Improve central air filtration to the MERV-13 or the highest compatible with the filter rack, and seal edges of the filter to limit bypass.

● Check filters to ensure they are within service life and appropriately installed.

● Keep systems running longer hours, 24/7 if possible, to enhance air exchanges in the building space.


Give employees, customers, and visitors what they need to clean their hands and cover their coughs and sneezes:
● Provide tissues and no-touch trash cans.

● Provide soap and water in the workplace. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained.

● Ideally, place touchless hand sanitizer stations in multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene.

● Place posters that encourage hand hygiene to help stop the spread at the entrance to your workplace and in other work areas where they are likely to be seen. This should include signs for non-English speakers, as needed.

● Discourage handshaking. Encourage employees to use other non-contact methods of greeting.
Perform routine cleaning:
● Follow the Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting to develop, implement, and maintain a plan to perform regular cleanings to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

● Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs.

○ If surfaces are dirty, clean them using a detergent or soap and water before you disinfect them.



● Discourage workers from using each other's phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.

● Provide disposable disinfecting wipes so that employees can wipe down commonly used surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks, other work tools and equipment) before each use.

● Store and use disinfectants responsibly and appropriately according to the label.

● Do not mix bleach or other cleaning and disinfection products. This can cause fumes that could be very dangerous to breathe in.

● Advise employees to always wear gloves appropriate for the chemicals being used when they are cleaning and disinfecting and that they may need additional PPE based on the setting and product.


Perform enhanced cleaning and disinfection after persons suspected/confirmed to have COVID-19 have been in the facility:



● If a sick employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, follow the cleaning and disinfection recommendations.
Limit travel and advise employees if they must travel to take additional precautions and preparations:
● Minimize non-essential travel and consider resuming non-essential travel by state and local regulations and guidance.

● Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 before starting travel and to notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.

● Ensure employees who become sick while travelling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.

● If they are outside India, sick employees should follow company policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to help them find an appropriate healthcare provider in that country.
Minimize risk to employees when planning meetings and gatherings:



● Use videoconferencing or teleconferencing when possible for work-related meetings and gatherings.

● Cancel, adjust, or postpone large work-related meetings or gatherings that can only occur in-person under state and local regulations and guidance.

● When videoconferencing or teleconferencing is not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces continuing to maintain a distance of 6 feet apart and wear cloth face coverings
.


Below are examples of controls to implement in your workplace. The most effective controls are those that rely on engineering solutions, followed by administrative controls, then PPE. PPE is the least effective control method and the most difficult to implement. Worksites may have to implement multiple complementary controls from these columns to effectively control the hazard.
Provide employees with training on:
● Policies to reduce the spread of COVID-19

● General hygiene

● Symptoms, what to do if sick

● Cleaning and disinfection

● Cloth face covers

● Social distancing

● Use of PPE

● Safe work practices

● Stress management

● PPE

● Conduct workplace hazard assessment

● Determine what PPE is needed for their workers' specific job duties based on hazards and other controls present

● Select and provide appropriate PPE to the workers at no cost.